How To Make An Awesome Sunday in Minneapolis Photograph

This photo of Minneapolis may now be my favorite of all of my Minneapolis Skyline prints, and it was the most rushed, hurried photo that I have taken in a long time. It was a Sunday evening, and I had been in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis) visiting with family, and when I left I was planning on heading west to Maple Grove to run some errands. But as I was doing so, I noticed the sky and immediately realized that it could turn into an epic sunset and that I should get ready to photograph it. The only problem is all of my gear was at home and time was rapidly running out. I only had about 40-minutes from that moment to get home, grab my gear, and get to a spot that could capture a possible brilliant sunset.

Minneapolis Sunday Sunset - Mpls Skyline | William Drew

I quickly turned around and started heading the other direction so that I could get home ASAP, and started trying to decide on a spot to drive to after getting my gear. My first thought was the Witches Hat area, but that was too far away. I then thought maybe the Bridge No. 9, but again, that would have been too far. I finally decided on a parking ramp that I had only been to once before. This parking ramp was on the east side of downtown and should give me a nice look with the sunset behind the Minneapolis Skyline. As soon as I was exiting I-94 to get on the city streets I realized I was in trouble.

Not only was the sunset absolutely perfect, which meant I was late and I had to hurry to capture the end of it, but as I got onto the city streets I ran into another issue. It was now about an hour before the start of the Sunday Night NFL game between the Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints that was at US Bank Stadium. People were heading to the stadium in droves, which made all of the streets impossible to drive on. The city was mostly gridlocked. At that point, I was realizing that I was going to miss the sunset. A sunset that was spectacular and I was so close to being in the right spot to capture it. The parking ramp I was thinking of was in site, and not only was there a long line of cars waiting to get into it, but I would also have had to pay top dollar to park there. 

That is when I improvised once again. There was one more parking ramp that I could get to, so I went for it. This other parking ramp wouldn't be perfectly lined up, but that didn't matter now. I just had to capture SOMETHING. I was too close to just give up. For some reason, there was no traffic going towards this parking ramp. And no inflated prices either, so it only cost me $1. I drove up to the top floor, parked, grabbed my gear and while I was getting ready to set up, I found out the battery in my camera was dead. By now, that previously spectacular sunset had started rapidly vanishing. When I grabbed my gear, I also grabbed my backup battery, so even in a rush, I was still prepared. But now I was wasting precious time having to swap out the battery. 

As soon as I finished swapping out the battery, I just quickly turned around, raised my camera, and took the photo. After doing so, I set the camera up on my tripod to get ready to take some more, and by that time the colorful sunset was almost gone. So, I literally took the photo at the last possible moment. And that photo is the one you are looking at here. And I love it. The fall colors in the foreground, the Minneapolis Skyline off to one side, and the incredibly vibrant sunset colors to the other side. As I was exiting I-94, ALL of the clouds were lit up in that brilliant color that you can see in this photo. There is a part of me that wishes I could have captured it, but the rest of me knows that this is a special photo. And all of this happened in just 40-minutes.  


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